Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 3, Day 5: Swedish Meatballs With Mashed Potatoes (and lingonberries)

I just have to take a minute to thank all of you who take the time to come and read and those of you to comment. It makes my day to read your comments. Thank you for your support! I'm working on the perfect gift to send out to our winners, I'll reveal it next week. Then we'll take the final vote and let you know who gets a prize!

Tonight was another great European recipe from my dear friend, Becky! I have to apologize a bit for this one, because I didn't make it exactly to the recipe. You see, I couldn't find lingonberries. I have no idea where I might find them, but I also looked for lingonberry preserves, to no avail. And I couldn't find mince. Since the recipe stated it was 3 parts beef to 1 part pork, I just mixed my own with ground beef and ground pork, hoping that was what it was meant to be since it's meatballs. However, I don't think I ended up with a full pound of meat (I was approximating a bit), and my meatball mixture was a bit wet, leaving me with melting meat blobs instead of beautiful meatballs.

I'll post the recipe as it is meant to be, but keep that in mind when you see my lovely picture and it's not quite what it should be.

Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberries


150 ml (generous 1/2 c) milk
50g (scant 1/2 c) breadcrumbs
1 small onion
500 g (1.1 lb) mince (3 parts beef, 1 part pork)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter
50 ml (3 1/2 tbsp) carbonated mineral water - make sure it is mineral water not tonic water or club soda. the sodium content varies & mineral water usu has less sodium.
butter + rapeseed oil for frying

Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and leave to swell 5-10 min. Chop the onion and fry it golden brown in a little butter. Mix into the mince: salt, white pepper, sugar, and mustard. Add the egg, milk mixture and onion. Mix until smooth. Splash on some mineral water. Test-fry a teaspoonful and add more seasoning if needed. Roll into large cherry-size and fry in butter and a little oil. Serve with mashed potatoes and instant lingonberry preserve.

Potato Mash

500 g (1.1 lb) peeled potato, ideally a floury sort like King Edward
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
150 ml (generous 1/2 c) milk
75 g (2 3/4 oz) butter
freshly ground white pepper
grated nutmeg (optional)

Boil the potatoes until soft. Pour off the water and let the potatoes steam in the saucepan. Add salt, white pepper, sugar, butter, milk, and optionally, nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher. Add more milk if needed to make the mash smooth. Taste and season more if desired..

Instant Lingonberry Preserve

500 g (1.1 lb) lingonberries
80 g (scant 1/2 c) sugar

Mix the lingonberries and sugar by hand and stir until the sugar dissolves.

The Verdict: 4 thumbs up, 1 thumb medium. The meatballs were delicious, and very flavorful. The potatoes were tasty, and very similar to our traditional recipe (which is good when serving young children!). I have to admit I was a bit relieved I didn't have to serve it with the lingonberry preserves. But it also meant that I didn't make IHOP's Swedish pancakes (since I chose it because I thought it would be a good use for the leftover preserves). Instead, we just went to IHOP last night.

We didn't make this, but I loved the history Becky sent with it so much that I had to share it, so consider this a bonus!

Rice Porridge

A mainstay of the Swedish Christmas Smorgasbord. Also, good for breakfast with fruit (craisins, blueberries, etc). Traditionally, Swedish families hide an almond in the porridge and whoever gets it gets a special task for the day. In the old days, if a single young man or young woman found the nut, it was a sign that the coming year would bring true love.

40 g (4.7 oz) of pudding rice or short-grain rice
300 ml (1 1/4 c) water
3/4 tsp salt
600-700 (2 1/2-3 c) milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter

Serve with cinnamon (and sugar, optional) and one almond and fruit (optional).

Boil rice, water and salt. Let boil quietly under cover for 10 minutes. Add milk and the cinnamon stick and stir well. cover again and let the porridge swell for 30 minutes at very low heat. Don't uncover or stir. Remove from the heat and leave for another 10 minutes. Then add the sugar and butter. Hide an almond in the porridge. Serve with cold milk and ground cinnamon.


Hippy Goodwife said...

I am so impressed by your willingness to try new recipes! I have non picky eaters and easy access to international foods and fresh fruit and veg all year around ( at pretty reasonable prices.) And I still get stuck in ruts! I have been trying some of the recipes that you have posted. Yum! I often have melting meat blobs instead of meatballs too! But they are still mighty tasty!

kudos to you!

Becky said...

Even though you didn't get to it tonight, you should definitely try the rice porridge sometime. Its super yummy! My Bro-in-law also makes a dessert pronounced "dime" (not sure how it is spelled, that is essentially like a no-bake cookie that doesn't have the peanut butter. You put it over ice cream ... yum!
I must be honest with you, I've not found lingonberries. I use lingonberry preserve which I have found at IKEA (but I got mine in Sweden). I've not looked for it otherwise though. :)

Colleen said...

I know thisdoesnt really fit with your challange, but you can get a bag of frozen sweedish meetballs at IKEA along with lingonberry jam and this really yummy sauce packet. We've had it over rice and noodles. I need to go get some more! The lingonberries with the meatballs is really good!

Rachel said...

Next time I'm in Salt Lake I'll lobby for a trip to IKEA, see if I can find the lingonberries ;). I've been wanting to go anyway.

I'm glad you're trying some recipes, Carmen! I can't say I've ever been brave enough to try a cake like one of yours. You have some real talent!

Kel said...

I love your cooking adventures. I love to try new dishes, but am sometimes discouraged by my bird and vegetarian kiddies. (Really Addie hardly eats anything besides pb&h, and Ethan will not eat meat!)

Stephanie said...

I had these at Ikea last week. Yum. You are good.